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Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 Death, where is thy victory?

Death, where is thy sting? 56 [The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.]

Thanks be to God who gives the victory to us through our Lord 58 Jesus Christ.

So then, my beloved brothers, be firm, immovable, abounding at all times in the work of the Lord ; since you know that

your labour is not vain in the Lord. 161 Now in regard to the collection for the saints, do you also follow the

2 instructions that I gave to the Communities of Galatia. On the first day

of the week let each of you be laying by him in store whatever gain he may have made ; so that collections may not have to be made when I 3 come. When I arrive I will despatch with letters whatever persons you 4 think fit, to convey your bounty to Jerusalem ; and if it be worth while 5 for me also to make the journey, they shall accompany me.

will visit you when I have passed through Macedonia. Through Mace6 donia I am to pass, but possibly I shall remain awhile with you, or even

pass the winter; that you may speed me on whatever journey I may under7 take. I do not wish to see you at this moment merely in passing by ; 8 my hope is to stay for some time with you, if the Lord permit. But I 9 will stay on at Ephesus till Pentecost; for a great door of activity is open 10 to me, and adversaries are numerous.

If Timotheus comes, see that he need have no fear with you ; for he works at the Lord's work like 11 myself. Let no one despise him then. Speed him on his journey in

peace, that he may come to me; for I expect him along with the brothers. 12 In regard to Apollos the brother-I made an urgent appeal to him to visit

you with the others, but he was not quite inclined to visit you just now.

However, he will come whenever he finds time. 13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, quit yourselves like men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love. 15 I appeal to you, brothers--you know that the household of Stephanas

is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have laid themselves out for 16 ministering to the saints. Be you also in subjection to such, and to 17 everyone who shares their work and labour. I am glad that Stephanas

and Fortunatus and Achaicus have arrived, for they have made up for 18 the lack of you. They have refreshed my spirit and yours. Pay regard

to such men therefore. 19 The Communities of Asia salute you. Aquila and Prisca heartily

salute you in the Lord, with the Community which is in their house. 20 All the brothers salute you. Salute one another with a saints' kiss.

The salutation is by the hand of me, Paul. If anyone loves not the Lord, let him be accursed. Maran atha.

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.


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When Paul despatched i Co from Ephesus, he evidently contemplated a visit to Corinth which for all its salutary consequences might prove painful to his friends and to himself (1 Co 419-21, éneuoouai taxéws após únâs ... ły páßsą énAw; cp. 1134 167). That this visit actually took place is a fair

inference from passages in the later epistle (2 Co 21 1214, idoũ tpirov ToûTO létoluôs čxw erdeiv, 13', Tpítov TOŪTO ēpxouai). These imply two previous

visits—at least that is a legitimate and highly natural, if not a necessary, conclusion from their language. Now, as Paul had only visited Corinth once before the composition of 1 Co, the second visit must have taken place between 1 Co and 2 Co. From this visit Paul returned to Ephesus, saddened and baffled (2 Co 25 f.). His journey had been fruitless and unpleasant. But what he had been unable to effect by a personal visit (1010 1221) he tried to carry out by means of a letter (24 78) written ék rollins Oliyrews kai ouvoxñs kapdías drà mollôr dak púov with passionate threats and appeals; it was so sarcastic and severe,? indeed, that the recollection of his language afterwards caused the apostle some qualms of conscience. This letter of disturbed feelings has been partially preserved in 2 Co 101310. These chapters are written out of the tension felt by one who is not yet sure of his ultimate success. They vibrate with anger and anxiety. Paul's authority and actions had been called in question, while his converts in Corinth were exposed to licentious errors. Yet both attacks sprang from the same overbearing, unscrupulous party who had gained a footing (1120) within the church, possibly headed by some ringleader (o TOLOŪTOS, TIS, 2 Co 25 712) who had been able to inflict severe and public humiliation upon the apostle by charging him with unscrupulous dealing, overbearing conduct, unfounded pretensions to the ministry of Christ, and so on. Since the attack on his character involved his gospel, Paul

1 Those who (like Schmiedel, Zahn, and recently G. G. Findlay, ExGT, ii. pp. 736738) deny this, are forced to the expedient of placing this visit previous to 1 Co, a device which contradicts the silence both of Acts and 1 Co. Paul's first visit to Corinth was on the occasion of his founding the church, and when writing 1 Co he refers to no other than this diffident and successful visit of his ministry (1 Co 22). He had no cause for aúan then, and betrays in 1 Co no sense of any.

2 To make this in any sense an adequate or apt description of 1 Co as a whole, is an idea which scarce

h scarcely merits serious discussion. That epistle naturally contains words of blame, but blame is not its argument and object; it contained nothing to make Paul uneasy. If the above theory is discarded, the letter in question must be regarded as lost. On the other hand, i Co is probably alluded to in 2 Co 101. 108., possibly 2 Co 10-13 in the later epistle 2 Co 313 (Férov), and 13. 10 in 128 21. At any rate chaps. 10-1310 form the only extant passage in Paul's Corinthian correspondence which answers to the twofold description of a letter composed in personal distress and with a severe intention. It is a deceptive method to start the discussion upon the two Corinthian epistles with their superficial resemblances, as these exist in the extant and canonical form.

found a method 1 of defence ready to hand against slander and censure.2 He proceeded to exhibit his own titles to credit and honour as an apostle Self-exultation is the keynote : kavgão dai del. “In great religious move ments the leaders are often compelled to assert themselves pretty peremptorily, in order that their work may not be wrecked by conceited and incapable upstarts” (Drummond). These pages thus form the apostle's apologia pro vita sua. But like Newman's it rises above the narrow controversies and personal issues of the struggle. Instead of merely expostulating and demanding reparation from the Corinthians for insults and outrages, he was concerned to expose the futility and shamelessness of all such attacks upon himself, thereby hoping to effectively discredit the influence of such opponents upon his friends. “I wrote,” he told them afterwards (2 Co 29), iva yvô tņu doktuny úuôv, ei eis távta útńkoól éote. His appeal was a test of their obedience, 3 carried by Titus (2 Co 213 76. 13-14). It was addressed to the Community as a whole, and intended to counteract the tyrannising and plausible influences of the Judaising party. Possibly only a fragment of it is preserved in 2 Co 10–1310, but even if it is complete we need not be surprised that Paul leaves the offender (25 712) alone. His attention is concentrated on the broader issue of which that man's case formed merely one expression. The case had now fallen to the Corinthians to deal with, and Paul strove rather to raise in them a proper conscience for such a process of discipline.

From a subsequent epistle (2 Co 1-9), written from Macedonia shortly after he had left 4 Ephesus to meet Titus on his return journey from Corinth, it is plain that the Corinthians had regained their loyalty and vindicated Paul at the expense of his opponents (2 Co 213 713). Their reception of

1 I do not understand how these chapters can be described as “wholly taken up with what the apostle means to do, when he comes to Corinth for the third time" (Denney). References to a further visit are to be expected under the circumstances, but they are mostly incidental allusions (102 1214 131), and not at all the continuous or absorbing theme of the epistle. Nor does 123 imply (as Sanday thinks, EBi, i. p. 906) that the painful letter was in lieu of a personal visit. As 21 shows, the painful visit had already been made. Paul simply says he preferred not to inflict on them again such an unpleasant experience, and therefore wrote a letter instead, until such tiine as he could pay a visit with comfort. The resemblance of style and ression (Holtzmann) between chaps. 10-13 and chaps. 1-9 are patent, but they have no bearing on the question of the date and order of these pieces. Both were written close together by the same man. Finally, the two passages 817-24 and 1218 do not refer to the same event (Jülicher). The latter touches a visit already paid. The former refers to another mission of Titus and his companion, for which Paul seeks to pave the way. Belser (TQ (1894), pp. 15–47) makes Paul visit Corinth four times, in 53, in 57 (summer), in 58-59 (winter), and finally in 65-66 after his release.

2 Paul seems to have found in some of the Corinthians the same "indecent freedom” which Thomas Boston met with among the Ettrick people ; who also,

“generally speaking, were naturally smart, and of an uncommon assurance; selfconceited and censorious to a pitch, contemners of me and of my ministry, who often kept not within the bounds of common civility.” Indeed, it is remarkable that Boston actually compares them twice over in his Memoirs to the church of Corinth, “burnt up with the fire of division, and drenched in fleshly abominations ... seeing we so much resemble that church in her three grand evils, self-conceit, a divisive temper, and sins of uncleanliness.” See Dr. Kennedy, (as below) pp. 98-110.

3 The omission of this whole period and intercourse in Acts proves either that the author was ignorant of the affair, or more probably that he chose to pass over so unedifying and discreditable a passage in the life of the early church.

4 The storm of affliction (2 Co 1-2, in which Paul was tossing at this crisis was due partly to recent experiences, partly to anticipations. He had been driven from his anchorage in Ephesus, and as yet was uncertain whether Corinth, his old harbour, would bave a welcome for him. The relief felt by Paul is indicated by the recurring idea of rice páxinois (which occurs eleven times in this epistle).

Titus and compliance with Paul's appeal fairly banished depression and disappointment from his heart. Hence the delight and relief that breathe through the epistle. It is irenical, intended to re-establish mutual confidence and obliterate the memories of the past bitter controversy. To forgive and to forget is its keynote. The original conclusion of this final letter (like the original first epistle to Corinth) has been lost; unless, as is highly probable, it is preserved 1 in 1311-13. At some later period, when the two short letters were put together, the earlier (10-1310) was stripped? of its opening (which under the circumstances would be brief) and added to the later and longer one, both together making up a single writing similar in size to 1 Co. The correct order of the extant Corinthian letters would then be (a) 1 Co, (b) 2 Co 10–1310, (c) 2 Co 1-9, 1311-13. Besides the earliest (lost) letter of 1 Co 59 (cp. 2 Co 614–71, 1 Có 161), there may have been another between (a) and (c) announcing that Paul had had to alter his original plan (2 Co 115-23) of visiting Corinth viâ Macedonia ; unless he allowed that plan to silently drop when circumstances arose to prevent its execution.

A case can be made out for the substantial integrity of the epistle, partly on the ground that the closing four chapters represent not a fresh standpoint or situation, but an emotional and argumentative climax, the last charge of Paul's dialectic carefully held in reserve till it could break out and complete a victory already gained in measure (114), partly also on the score of the epistle's internal characteristics. The former argument has been already answered by implication.3 The latter is more plausible. 2 Co is a writing of moods, not composed at a single sitting nor in face of a single phase of life. Hence, on psychological grounds, the broken character of the problem might be taken as an explanation of the lack of unity in its

i Note the characteristic play on words (zágos, xcicott, 915 1311), and the fitness of the sentiment (1311 12) as a finale to the advice and counsel in ch. 9, where as ever the collection is treated as a bond of union and opportunity of brotherly kindness. The personal question at issue between Paul and the Corinthians is rounded off in ch. 7. Kennedy (see below) explains the welding of the two letters by the fact that a copyist confused the visit promised (in ch. 9) with that mentioned in ch. 10. “It is indeed a visit of a very different kind. There is an apparent resemblance concealing a deep-seated difference; but this is precisely the complexion of things which would be likely to mislead a copyist.” As the autographs were probably written on leaves, transposition of this kind would be materially facilitated.

2 It is not necessary to suppose that a (lost) previous section of the intermediate epistle was composed by Timotheus or some other (Ephesian) companion of the apostle. The autos de égcs (2 Co 101) is a natural plunge into vehement reproach and personalities. Noris it probable that Timotheus himself was the adiznosís (Beyschlag, Pfleiderer, and G. G. Findlay). A favourite theory of the traditional school is that Paul had received fresh news from Corinth at this point; but in that case it is extraordinary how he does not refer to such bad tidings at all, and how he goes on without any allusion to the altered circumstances. The absence of directions (in 10-13) about the case of the guilty person is not a crucial objection, as Dr. Drummond admits; “this part might have been omitted” from the final recension “as of temporary interest,” particularly as the matter ended satisfactorily.

3 The indulgent consideration of 2 Co 56. 11 blending policy with generosity, refers to a situation which did not exist when 1 Co was written. Such leniency is almost incredible in the case of a shameless breach of morals like that so scathingly treated in 1 Co 5. But it suits a case of personal insult. Pauló á diznosis could well afford to overlook an affront to himself or to one of his friends, when the aggressor had frankly given up his arms and the church had taken the apostle's part. See a lucid presentment of the whole case by Weizsäcker (AA, i. pp. 341-353), who further conjectures that a court was held during the second visit to adjudicate upon Paul's apostolic claims, and that in the course of the discussion the church allowed Paul to be grossly insulted by a prominent individual among the intriguers.

treatment. “Probably there is no literary work in which the cross-currents of feeling are so violent and so frequent. Again and again they sweep the apostle far away from his intended course of thought and grammar. He struggles back again, only to be once more hurried away in yet another direction. Or, to change the metaphor, we see a thought bubbling up from the ground of the argument, fresh and vigorous. But at once it passes beneath the sudden rising-ground of some new idea ; at length it appears again tinged with the soil through which it has flowed.”I Still, there are limits to versatility. In this case interruptions and mobility of temperament will not bear the weight put upon them by the traditional hypothesis. The difference of tone between the first nine and the last four chapters is so marked, that it may very reasonably be held to indicate a serious difference of situation; and upon the whole the references and outlook of chaps. 10–13 (“ Eine durch Stimmung u. Sprache zusammengehaltene Gruppe," J. Weiss, ThL%, 1894) are most naturally explained when they are allowed to lie within the earlier period of strained relations and bitter animosity between 1 Co and 2 Co 1-9. The hypothetical character which appears to beset this solution is in reality due to the whole question of Paul's relations with the Corinthian church, which are intricate and subtle to the last degree. Any theory of their nature is based partly on conjecture, and the choice lies simply between historical reconstructions of less and more probability. Whatever scheme be adopted, the investigator has to be content with a series of situations in which the details are only to be harmonised in part.

The discovery that 2 Co is no unity is not recent. As far back as 1776, Semler conjectured that three letters were included in the canonical epistle, namely, (i.) 1-8, 1311-13, a letter sent with Titus on his second visit to Corinth ; (ii.) 9, a letter to the Christians of Achaia ; (iii.) 101-1310, a further letter to Corinth. The credit of detecting the intermediate letter in chaps. 10-13 must be given to Hausrath 2 (iv. p. 55 f.), and among the chief adherents of this position (besides others quoted by Schmiedel) are S. Davidson (?INT, i. pp. 57f., 63f.), Pfleiderer (Ürc. pp. 105–110), Clemen (Chron. p. 226f.), Brückner (Chron. p. 198f., “an oratio pro domo”), J. H. Kennedy (Exp.5 1897; pp. 231f., 285f., 1899, pp. 182f.), König (ZwTh (1897), pp. 482-554, full and clear), McGiffert (AA, pp. 313-315), and Adeney (BI, p. 368f.).3 Schmiedel's subtle and elaborate exposition has

i Chase, Class. Rev. (1890), p. 151; cp. Deissmann, Bibel-Studien (1895), pp. 239, 240. But the variations and terms in 2 Co are too great to be explained even upon the supposition that the writer stopped now and then to pause and reflect, or hurried from one subject to another. This is an adequate view of 1 Co, but not of 2 Coleast of all, of 101-1310. Nor is there any reason to suppose that between 915 and 101 Paul had received fresh and unsatisfactory news of his converts at Corinth. In that case Titus (2 Co 76f.) had been grossly misled. 2 Especially in his monograph (1870, Der Vier-Capitel Brief des

es Paulus an die Corinther. 2 Co is much more weakly attested in the later literature than 1 Co, and in any case the extant canonical letters of Paul to Corinth are only the fragmentary relics of a larger correspondence.

3 Cp. Lipsius (Jpth (1976), p. 531) and Dr. O. Cone, Paul the Man, the Teacher, and the Missionary, pp. 47, 125. By several critics, chaps. 10–13 are separated from chaps. 1-9, but placed subsequent to them : so most recently upon varying constructions of the history, Krenkel (Beiträge zur Aufhellung der Geschichte u. der Briefe des Paulus (1890), p. 308 f.), and Dreschler (SK (1897), pp. 43–111); vide Theol. Jahresber. xvii. 153. On the other side, cp. Hilgenfeld, ZwTh (1899), pp. 1-19. Völter's dissection is given in Theol. Tijds. (1889), pp. 296 f., and Dr. J. N. Kennedy has just written a volume upon the subject (The Second and Third Letters of Paul to Corinth, 1900). Even Sabatier (p. 170), in rejecting Hausrath’s

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